Mental health is a societal task – The business world should take part in the responsibility

The healthcare system cannot solve the challenges of poor mental well-being alone. The problems are so massive that businesses, research, private organisations, and the health sector must cooperate. The Danish pharmaceutical company Lundbeck will now help to promote innovation and business cooperation within one of the greatest health challenges of our time.

Children and young people who fail to thrive at school. People with mental disorders lack treatment options. Employees who are unable to attend to their work due to psychological symptoms or elderly people who feel lonely.

One in three Danes will develop a mental illness during their lifetime – and as described in the new 10-year Psychiatry Plan, the challenges are huge. The public health service cannot solve these challenges alone.

It should be a joint task across society to find solutions for how we can help our fellow human beings with mental challenges and strengthen mental health in general.

Business can also be a player in the fight for better mental health for Danes, which is why the pharmaceutical company Lundbeck is now taking the lead together with several small and medium-sized companies to create new knowledge and innovative solutions that can benefit the Danes with mental challenges.

– We accept the challenge for two main reasons: Partly because we, as an international company, want to take responsibility and contribute to lifting the psychiatric health burden that the Danish society is facing. Partly to bring our professional and commercial knowledge to the smaller companies, which under this auspices get the opportunity to develop new innovative health solutions and digital concepts within mental health, says Karin Hamberg, Chief Medical Officer, Lundbeck.

72.8 million on the way to the fight for better mental well-being

August 1st 2023, Lundbeck took over the chairmanship of Lighthouse Life Science, which is a business promotion initiative designated to accelerate development and growth as well as create activities that, among other things, promote innovation, business development, and green transition in specific health areas.

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Lundbeck must therefore be a frontrunner in creating new partnerships and collaborative projects between, among others, knowledge institutions, business houses, companies, and the health sector. Lighthouse Life Science is one of eight regional business lighthouses that have just received funding from Denmark’s Business Promotion Board. Applications have been received for approx. 600 million DKK Danish kroner and the board writes in a press release that they have prioritized the applications that they believe can best realize the visions. Lighthouse Life Science was the top scorer with a grant of 72.8 million for the work for better mental health.

Already engaged 250 companies

The Business lighthouses received their first grant in 2022 when Lighthouse Life Science received 72 million to initiate the initiatives that worked for another health challenge, Healthy Weight.
Novo Nordisk, with CEO Lars Fruergaard Jørgensen at the helm, has held the chairmanship of Lighthouse Life Science – HEALTHY WEIGHT. In less than two years, the partnership has succeeded in bringing together 38 private and public partners – including companies, universities, pension funds, municipalities, hospital units, and ministries. Everyone has helped start initiatives that fight for a healthy weight at, among others, school children, pregnant women, and in the workplace.

More than 225 private companies have participated in the activities to create solutions for a healthy weight.

The activities involve, among other things, schools, municipalities, pension funds, public organizations, and research institutions. In addition, HEALTHY WEIGHT has engaged 250 companies throughout the country.

Karin Hamberg, Chief Medical Officer, Lundbeck and Diana Arsovic Nielsen, director. in the Danish Life Science Cluster.

70 years of experience and research must be brought into play

These results now inspire Lundbeck to take over the torch from Novo Nordisk and lead the next round of Lighthouse Life Science. Lundbeck has more than 70 years of experience in the treatment of brain diseases such as depression, schizophrenia, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and migraine.

This knowledge must now be put into play together with a large number of small and medium-sized companies (SMEs), which Lighthouse Life Science must recruit. Lundbeck will partly act as a professional knowledge partner on several innovation initiatives and will also make many experts and professionals available to the players who will be part of Lighthouse Life Science over the next three years.

Read more about Lighthouse Life Science – Mental health

Large companies can help SMEs abroad

In addition to finding solutions that can improve citizens’ mental health, the business lighthouses must create growth in large and small companies – and even lay the stones on the way to international markets. Here it is crucial that the large Danish international companies such as Lundbeck and Novo Nordisk reach out, believes the Danish Life Science Cluster, Denmark’s national life science cluster.

– Within life science, Denmark has a vibrant and innovative startup environment, and the many small companies must use the large companies as levers for the Danish and foreign markets – furthermore, the opportunity for professional and business sparring is unique. Therefore, it is a win that first Novo Nordisk and now Lundbeck contribute to solving the social challenges of the time says Diana Arsovic Nielsen, director of the Danish Life Science Cluster, which is part of the main consortium in the Lighthouse Life Science.

See all partners in Lighthouse Life Science II – Mental Health

The project is co-funded by the European Union.